May 2018 update: Here.
I still hate the new look of Google News, as displayed in certain browsers, including my Windows desktop version of Chrome.
But for the past week, I’ve been happily using a workaround—theoldgnews.com. Just go to that address and, presto, the old text-heavy look will return (above image).
The domain is registered in Panama and possible security risks exist. Still, my bet is that this site’s author is simply a well-intentioned soul fed up with the arrogance Google showed in inflicting the new atrocity on users. I’m super-grateful to him or her for reaching out to TeleRead.
Here’s a Reddit thread where our anonymous hero tells what’s going on:
“I own the website and there is no logging. It’s more like a http proxy, I get your request and I forward it and give it back to you. No cookies, no logging. All code will be on github soon. follow on twitter: https://twitter.com/theoldgnews
edit: Check for yourself, hit F12 and look at the first request. No cookies.”
That’s not the only way to revert to the old look. Another Google News victim says: “Just install the User-Agent Switcher for Chrome, go to Google News and switch the user agent string to Windows Phone 8.” With theoldgnews.com, I can’t get my usual customization with, for example, my favorite topics. But this other approach did offer customization. I installed User-Agent Switcher for Google Chrome, which can stay on temporarily or permanently, depending on your preference. The trade-off was that my Gmail was dumbed down to a Windows Phone 8 level. But perhaps there’s a way around that.
Why torture users, Google?
Still, why in the devil should I have to jump through all these hoops? I complained to Google PR about the change in Google News. Alas, no reply so far. I remain baffled why Google’s new version didn’t include a cookie-based toggle to let you switch back. Better, the text-heavy look should be the default for people with desktops. Must we all be dumbed down visually to the level of a cell phone with a three-inch screen?
How, just how, could the brainiacs at Google be so oblivious to user needs? Has a corporate saboteur infiltrated Google to sabotage News to the benefit of rivals?
We’re not just talking about the interface per se. With the new interface in use, I can retrieve only a screen’s worth of stories when I do a search for old Google News items based on keywords. Are you as angry as I am over this insult to our intelligence? Was Henry Ford really right in saying, “History is bunk”? Are our Web news tastes now as hopeless as our tastes in politicians?
At the very time when we need access to news stories from reputable publications to counter fake news, Google is making us more stupid with the one-screen limitations (at least as things display on my browser).
Yes, I knew: there are crap items on News. But at least the old arrangement gives us more of a choice, and you can use information-literacy basics to spot the dreck. Here is the CRAAP tool from the American Library Association. CRAAP stands for the criteria used: “currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.”
Dream on, but I’d love for Google’s news site and and all other search engines to include a permanent link to the CRAAP guidelines.
More at memeburn.
Update, September 2: The user agent won’t work anymore, and for now theoldgnews.com is down, but the site’s developer say it will be back.
Related: Google News’s new look sucks. Please—let us revert if we want.
Thank you, Thank you, thank you!!!
I thought it was just me that totally hated the new formatting.
Good article David. Unfortunately Google have stopped the ‘User-Agent Switcher for Google Chrome’ from functioning. It was great while it lasted. It was possible to have it only apply to the google news site, leaving all other websites untouched. However the fix no longer works.
I guess I’ll have to use ‘theoldgnews.com’ for now. Shame it can’t be personalised, but perhaps that could be added, although I guess there would be major privacy issues.
Such a shame that Google has lost the plot. Was once a great company I admired. Google News has been my homepage for aeons. Sadly, no longer. R.I.P Google News. 😦
Nope..Not just you. Is millions I would say.
Has crashed at the moment after I only just discovered it but hope can be fixed.
I see that http://theoldgnews.com/ says:
Site is down, working on a fix
02 Sept 2017 2:47 UTC/GMT
Speaking of old news, Xywrite is back, that is it can be run on the 32 bit 64 bit Windows with the VDosPlus.org envelope.
Google news is still terrible in the browser look, but in an RSS feed, it is much more acceptable.
in my case.
[ Shhh!, don’t tell googgle or they will dumb it down too ]
A simple change from CA to US brings up
Or if you are interested in the Leader of the Free World (AnGela Merkel)
Google has a crappy survey on the pages; think before you answer and watch for multiple choice pages. Prepare your scathing essays before you start it
They are re-mucking-up Google news every week now.
Changes, hard to find “full coverage” buttons, which lead to non-news sources or PR releases, especially in the Health? section.
Evidence that Google is losing it (as in losing touch with their customers), as have so many other large companes over the decades.
I try to support Bing News, though it is lacking. Fewer clicks (less revenue for the Big G) on Google News might be the only thing that will cause them to take notice.
21/11/2017 really dislike the new google look, cant bookmark easy anymore and difficult to find things, How can I change back to the previous google page. Annoyed.
Worst changes this week May 20, 2018 for Google news.
Ghacks.net tries to suggest alternatives. “Google News Alternatives”
You’re so right, Bill. Here’s a direct link to the Ghacks.net post:
here is the link for the old google news (or at least part of it)
old google news does not allow you to customize topics. i’ve searched and it isn’t perfect but msn news is pretty good.
What about Bing News from bing.com/news or bing.co.uk/news etc.
“Add interests to personalize Bing, Cortana, and MSN, and to receive suggested topics and stories. Learn more”
Google news got worse and worse with fake news, cult news and unreliable sources, even for science. Complaints to Anand.Paka of Google News are unreturned.
Google news got a mild improvement in May, but still a poor arrange of sources and Full Coverage as they used to do.
One solution for me was to create subject folders in a RSS reader ( QuiteRSS Portable) and load multiple sources under each, and use the search keys of the folder to search all the RSS feeds under the folder at once, Titles, Authors,Categories, Descriptions, Links and News.
‘T’ the title listing to open in native browser, read summary or full text and ^save as plain html, or ^Print to PDF to save the included graphics.
Bing looks even worse. What was that reader trying to say ? A majority of the readers of news are no instagram or any of those stupid apps freaks. We just need to read material, without the bells and whistles and waste of a lot of real estate, forcing us to scroll forever
Google has become known as the corp. that screws up good apps, over time. Gotta get out of gmail soon.
There is a simpler way using Google URL instead of some third-party server: news.google.com/news/feeds?output=rss&q=%
As an alternative, you can use my Chrome extension called Fixer for Google News.
Google News has gone from bad to worse. Firstly they removed easy to use customization, then they removed expanding to see other articles of a similar topic without linking out, as well as the ability to see the first paragraph of an article with a drop down tab. The “see fewer articles” link about a topic does not work, even after weeks of saying no to certain topic types. And the news seems to be completely outdated. Today I counted 25 links to news articles of 2 days old, 10 that were deemed yesterday, and only 7 were in the last few hours – none were in the minutes category. I’ve been patient with Google News, but am now switching to BING News, I’m over it!
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